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First body recovered, mine officials removed
By Qiu Quanlin (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-08-11 06:04

XINGNING, Guangdong Province: Hopes of finding survivors among the at least 123 miners trapped in the flooded coal mine in Xingning, South China's Guangdong Province, are almost zero after the recovery of a first body yesterday morning.

Rescuers install a pump to clear flood waters from the shaft of the Daxing Coal Mine. [Xinhua]
Police are trying to identify the victim through DNA testing.

Experts said hopes of finding any of the remaining miners alive were almost nil after more than four days trapped in the flooded shaft.

By yesterday evening, family members of 99 trapped workers had arrived at the site.

The State Council announced yesterday that a national investigation team had been set up to look into the cause of the accident.

The Guangdong provincial government said two local officials, Meizhou Mayor He Zhengba, and Xingning Mayor Zeng Xianghai, had been removed from their posts.

The two officials reportedly failed to properly supervise the mine, which was being run illegally with no production or safety licences.

Disciplinary action was also taken against two other officials for dereliction of duty.

Shi Quan, of Luogang township Party committee, and Zeng Xianji, of Xingning City Coal Industry Bureau, were found to have failed to promptly and accurately report the rising water level in the mineshaft.
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